Grateful Dead Live at Curtis Hixon Convention Hall on 1973-12-18
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
Tennessee Jed, Me & My Uncle, Don't Ease Me In, Looks Like Rain, They Love Each Other, Me And Bobby McGee, Brown Eyed Women, Beat It On Down The Line-> Peggy-O, El Paso, Deal, Jack Straw, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider
Promised Land-> Bertha-> Greatest Story Ever Told, Row Jimmy, Weather Report Suite Prelude-> Weather Report Suite Part 1-> Let It Grow-> Dark Star-> Mind Left Body Jam-> Dark Star-> Drums-> Eyes Of The World-> Wharf Rat-> Sugar Magnolia, E: Uncle John's Band
Related Music question-dark
Versions - Different performances of the song by the same artist
Compilations - Other albums which feature this performance of the song
Covers - Performances of a song with the same name by different artists
|Me And My Uncle|
|Don't Ease Me In|
|Looks Like Rain|
|They Love Each Other|
|Me And Bobby McGee|
|Brown Eyed Women|
|Beat It On Down The Line|
|China Cat Sunflower ->|
|I Know You Rider|
|Promised Land ->|
|Greatest Story Ever Told|
|Weather Report Suite ->|
|Dark Star ->|
|Eyes Of The World ->|
|Wharf Rat ->|
|Uncle John's Band|
-- All disc changes are seamless
-- I corrected the pitch and fixed the levels
-- There were a few pops that were also removed
-- Patches aren't perfect but they're still good
-- Sugaree tease before Peggy-O
-- Dark Star contains a Mind Left Body jam
-- Thanks to Rob Eaton for the Dats
-- Thanks to Joe B. Jones for his help with the pitch correction
- 2011-05-11 11:32:35
- Dat (Sony R500) -> Sound Devices 744T -> Adobe Audition v3.0 -> Samplitude Professional v11.2 -> FLAC
- Tampa, FL
- Run time
- Transferred by
- Charlie Miller
Subject: Tampa pt. 1
From the opening Ten Jed, there is just a deep vibe running through the night. Maybe the boys were jazzed that Donna was not available, maybe they saw an upcoming break as their tour was 2 stops form being over. Whatever it was, it just works. To me, this is a Keith show. Keith is front and center in the mix, the way I like it. Grand piano just suits the 70s so well, and Keith was the absolute master at subtle genius. I have said it before, the Grateful Dead was never the same after Keith and Donna were sent packing--and really I can point towards 6/9/77 (which was the last dead show with acoustic piano until Hornsby joined) as being a dividing point in GD eras. Anyway, KG is solid throughout the night. My copy has absolutely crystal clear low end on it, and you can hear Keith pumping Ten Jed with his stabs of ivory and the bass notes of the acoustic piano really growl. This show should be played LOUD.
MAMU is a set in the direction of pep. Well played, and with the 'grabbed a bottle' line. Don't Ease follows, building on the momentum MAMU starts. It's an ok version, not one of my favorites, but nothing wrong with it at all. Next up is LLR, a song that sometimes loses me, but not this passionate reading. Again, Keith build majesty with big chords punctuating the melody, and adding ornate little flourishes to the tune. The absence of Donna is noticeable, and she is missed on LLR. I can't imagine any doctor recommending hanging around the GD while preggers.
TLEO is nest, with the fast bouncy version still being played. I much prefer the slow, skeevy versions, but this one is ok. A nice Brown Eyed Women is nestled between two songs I won't comment on. I never cared for Bobby Mc Gee or BIODTL, and you won't hear me tell you now just how much I dislike BIODTL. It's a filler tune, and that's that. BEW is played with more up-front piano. Jerry's first solo is note perfect and right in the pocket, and Billy keeps things clicking along with a steady beat. I have definitely said this before too, but I love single drummer GD. Billy was just so good at alluding to rhythm and polyrhythm without actually playing it. To my ears, he is a grossly underrated component of what made the early 70's so special.
Peggy O comes on next, and being an early version is has more of a laid back country and western vibe. Someone's guitar sounds a tad out of tune here, but it's not a dealbreaker like it can be sometimes.
Deal is next, with more energy and more Keith twinkling the keys, playing right along with Jerry's solo but not copying it. The energy is building again, and all of the guys are involved in it. Bob's guitar is a little low overall, but he's hanging in there providing Jerry that foil to play off of.
I refuse to talk about El Paso, unless is comes in the middle of a Dark Star. This is a fine but skippable version (like most every version that isn't tucked into a DS jam), so I advise using that 4:28 to get right.
Jack Straw offers up a well paced version, with Billy being noticeable, pushing the music forward. Jerry and Keith are both providing nice fills around and sometimes over Bob's singing, which has been solid all night. I have always loved Jerry and Bob trading vocal lines in JS.
First set ends with China>Rider. The china part is fine, but the transition to the Rider part really kicks things up a notch. Jerry is furiously playing up to the feeling groovy transition (or whatever you call the damn thing...it does NOT sound like FG to me, but it's a beautiful descending pattern that appeared leading into rider many times). This is pure Jerry--everyone seems to clear the lane and let him go off, which he does to our delight. The boys are all singing the Rider section. I hear a lot of Let Phil Sing, but I have to disagree. This is a little foreshadowing for Phil. I have never been a fan of his singing, save the Box of Rain studio cut. These days he sounds like Abe Simpson, and you can hear him kinda stuck between two ranges here. Phil was the weakest singer in the band, and you can kinda hear it here. Anyway, Rider smokes and then takes us to the smoke break.
Set two is where the magic begins to form. A standard pass thru Promised Land, Bertha, and GSET gets you to the meaty, misty jam segment of the show. I start with Row Jimmy when I only have enough time for 90+ minutes of excellence. Row Jimmy is a favorite of mine, and this version is average to good, if not a touch slow one. Billy is laying back, and a slow, drippy, slidey version takes place. Jer pulls on the hearstrings with his pedal steel-y slide work. Keith supports with his organ/electric piano, and Phil lays down a sparse, dubby bass line that just envelopes the music. Row, Jimmy, Row!
And then this happens: WRS>Dark Star>Drums>Eyes>Wharf Rat. This is one of the finest sequences in GD history. It's almost like another show inside of the second set. All emotions are touched here. Fear, sadness, anger, love, joy--it's all here. "This is the quiet part"-Phil Lesh 12/18/73. The WRS jam is pretty amazing, furious jamming by Jerry and Keith, who take over center stage here. It all starts with the gentle bass counterpoint of Phil, backing Bob with Jerry's soaring slide work painting the corners but when it melts seamlessly into a fat 20+ minute Dark Star, you can just tell that the buys are dialed in and giving their best to us. It's hard to describe the DS--just listen to it! I hear bits of 11/11/73 and 12/6/73 in the themes that bubble up from the endless well of Jerry & the boys collective mind. DS turns into a few minutes of Billy doing his thing, then takes a right turn into an incandescent Eyes that in turn dissipates into Wharf Rat. I am a giant fan of 1973 Wharf Rats, and this version is maybe just a notch below the stunner they unleashed on 12/2/73. The whole sequence from WRS to Wharf rat simply must be heard--I don't have the words to do it justice. Unfortunately there is an AUD patch in the outtro of a very well played Wharf Rat. The ending is just delicious--check it out. Keith and Jerry just melt into the rest of the band...
Wharf Rat ends, and we get a great encore combo of Scarlet Begonias and UJB. The boys are clearly fatigued by the jam segment, but they still put forth a final volley of energy for us, and close the night with a solid reading of UJB.
Overall, this show is a sleeper for top 15 of the year. It's not as fully formed as the knockout Novermber shows (11/17&11/21), and there are moments of ragged playing--but overall the boys put together a good setlist and execute it well. Keith is the star of the proceedings, Jerry does what Jerry does. and Billy lays down solid groundwork for the gang to explore. I think Bob sits low in the mix, and Phil has some moments but ultimately doesn't take over like he does in some jam segments. Jam sequence hunters can drop in at WRS and punch out after Wharf Rat. Those of us that like a more complete ride will not be disappointed that the events that unfolded on 12/28.
Subject: Tampa ‘73 N1
Subject: Tender Loving Hippie Care
Subject: "this is the quiet part"
Given the actual facts, let's just call it a tie. ;)
The Dead were peaking out the entire fall and these shows are really the peak of that peak. It's a testament to Dick Latvala's superb taste that he picked one of these shows to be the first release in his selected series.
I got an amazing audience tape of this show some twenty+ years ago and it's still irresistible imagining what it must have been like to have that WRS jam blasted into my face by that sound system, in real time.
One additional thought about the sound system and it's oft-discussed shortcomings: "it is what it was." The first time I heard the tapes of these shows I, too, noticed the strange "distant" sound of the vocals, like they were being projected from the distant past into the present through via some forgotten AM frequency. Later I came to see it as just another feature of the band's never-ending experiments. It's hard to imagine them sounding any other way at this point.
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering: it wasn't particularly warm in Tampa those two nights in December. Highs in the fifties and chilly at night. Probably seemed pretty similar to the Bay Area ...
Subject: The '73 Sound
Subject: Tampa gets a double-dose.
While I offer no constructive criticism for the first set, this night is clearly all about the second set that follows it. Jerry walks onto the stage and jokingly remarks that "the rest of the band couldn't make it for this set" before a jeering crowd. Jerry's seemingly jovial mood seems to serve him well, as he offers some of his best playing of the year during this set. (I've read and listened to interviews where Jerry alludes to being nervous as a cat before going on the stage. If that was the case, he does a swell job of masking it here, as he commands this set with utter confidence and competence.) Hats off to you, "captain trips"!
The finest hour of the evening undoubtedly occurs during the segue that runs as follows: WEATHER REPORT SUITE->DARK STAR->DRUMS->EYES OF THE WORLD->WHARF RAT. This WRS is arguably the best of the year, and with possible exception of 9/11, certainly the jazziest (the interplay between Jerry & Bobby is stupendous). There is an AUD patch around the 14:20 mark, lasting approximately a minute, but hardly seems like a blemish thanks to Charlie Miller’s magic touch.
The Dead, alas, retired for the year after the 12/19 show. It’s seems curious as to why they didn’t squeeze in a few more dates and finished with a new year show like they did in '72. (Perhaps being on the east coast, the travel time back to Cali was factored in, and squeezing in more dates would seem over ambitious.) The Dead were riding a consistent sound wave in late '73 that they were never to quite hit the likes of again. It seems a pity that didn't play a few more shows that we can only speculate how extraordinary they could have been. Still, we must be thankful for what we do have, and realize the boys were well deserving of a break, and an opportunity to relax with loved ones for the holidays. Well done, boys!
P.S. The DS contains a suddle, yet sweet "Mind Left Body Jam". Listen and dig it, folks!
Subject: Nice show!
Subject: Group mind at work
Subject: Stellar Show
Seems to my ears that the reason the next night made it on to the Dick's Pix rosters is that there are some very obvious problems with the master, here. Patches from the Miller-master are brilliant, but they couldn't elevate it to release-level quality.
Great jams, though.
Subject: Do not stare directly into this show or it may cause permanent damage to the cornea !
Right from the word go, they sweep you up, and you realize it's rare that EVERYone is so dialed in 100%. Opening with Tennesee, Jerry comes out growling, and Bobby in Me And My Uncle, and LLR is just great !! A rousing, bouncy, They Love Each Other & El Paso but Brown Eyed Women & Peggy-O are perfect as well, if there's such a thing ? How about Keith & Phil in WRS and Eyes, or Bill on the Drums > Dark Star > MLB > Eyes ? So sweet and mournful is that Eyes, with everyone firing on all cylinders. I love putting Phil forward, all crunchy and prominent in the mix. It seriously is like being there with a pair of headphones and dim room. You can really get a feel of what they were trying to say musically with such amazing clarity !
Starting off slow, many of these songs build to a nice peak, then just giving it everything on the way out ! Clean finishes, nice seques. You know how sometimes they can just abrubtly end songs ? Not this evening. They all really seem to feed off each other so nice, and like a laser, focused to a narrow beam of streaming consiousness. Outstanding, really, and the reason I love the Dead. This show leaves me tingling on pins and needles, yet hopeful of humanities future. I am not the same for having heard it, but instead feel blessed to be here now. Enjoy :)
Subject: Excellent performance and sound
Subject: review'd by a jar of peanut butter:
I hope Tolly rates this high too, then and only then will it be eight miles high.
Subject: The (next to last) stand of 1973
Subject: Interesting that Dick Picked the next night...
Like previous reviewer mentioned, probably one of the best WRS ever. Phil persuades the audience to quiet down during Prelude. Then the band launches into one of its most nuanced performances of the tune to date.
The Dark Star born out of Let it Grow covers all ground. Thrashy to Jazzy to scary back to reality. Subtle MLB Jam, but nothing compared to 1973.11.11 Winterland MLB Jam. No real transition from Drums into Eyes but then again did we really need one? The Wharf Rat to top the cherry on the sundae is quite soulful and a standout performance of that song.
Defiantly unfairly over shadowed by the next night. The Here Comes Sunshine and Morning Dew from the next night made it memorable as well, but to me this WRS>Dark Star>Drumz>Eyes>Wharf Rat
is the jam of the weekend.
Haven't side-by-side compared this copy to the old MIller remasters, but I'm sure this is the best copy. Thanks!
Subject: Virtually perfect...
This performance remains one of the finest of 1973. It's superbly played and infused with thrilling jazzy passages throughout. WRS is a contender for a best ever performance, and the Dark Star is one of best of the year. Eyes of the World is a stellar rendition that features some great lead guitar work by Weir as he and Phil collaborate on a rather unique and exciting passage.
The jazzy nature of this performance and the superb sound quality of this remaster make for one of the most thrilling transfers archived here. (99+ pts)